We talked about the need for a great host in Part 1. You will get a much faster connection with a VSP or some type of dedicated hosting and this will boost your speed significantly. I suggest WPENGINE from personal experience. They are a cloud hosting company and I refer them to all my clients. They’re optimised for WordPress installations, have incredible customer support and top-notch security.
Ok, you have your hosting figured out and it’s on a dedicated server. The next steps will bring your score up even more. You need to analyse your current score and put a plan in place to bring that score up even more.
One way to instantly boost speed is by enabling compression, which is usually off. Turn compression on! You won’t have to worry about this with a good host. See what Google has to say and follow their guidelines. If your server doesn’t provide this service, there are a few other options to do compression. Enabling a Gzip using a caching plugin is the quickest way to do this. The best options are W3 Total Cache and WP Rocket. You will also find some other great alternatives. Take a look at the reviews and see which ones work best for your situation. WP Rocket is the one I use most often.
Are you comfortable using code and want to do the compression on your own? The following code is from https://gtmetrix.com/enable-gzip-compression.html. Simply open your .htaccess file and include this code:
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
# Remove browser bugs (only needed for really old browsers)
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0 no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
Header append Vary User-Agent
The next step is to use PageSpeed Insights to analyse your site. Was there any improvement in your score? It is great if it improved, but now you have another problem. When compression is enabled, it improves your score on mobile and desktop virtually every time.
After that, it is time to optimise your images. In a perfect scenario, all of your images are the ideal size and perfect for the web. This is isn’t something that clients usually think of, so I help them set this up. A simple fix would be to use the Kraken plugin. You can make the changes in the functions files and include custom images sizes for your site and layouts. When you use srcset, it optimises your images so they load quickly and in the ideal sizes. Before you upload your images, I suggest using tinypng or smushit to compress your images. Google will slap you if you upload massive uncompressed images. ImageAlpha is also a super powerful tool for optimising your images!
Clow Creative can get you a very high score on Google PageSpeed Insights. Your business website will be custom-built for speed, security and functionality. Experienced website designer Russel Clow uniquely designs all websites designed by Clow Creative for each client. Visit http://www.ClowCreative.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.